My daily experience with Nextcloud - organization and planning

Okay, got to say up front that I don’t have time to dig too much into details, but I want to share my thoughts on using Nextcloud as an organizational suite over a number of years…


  • I’ve found it best to keep files very limited, no more than a couple gigabytes of files ever available to a user in the cloud.
    • Everything is automatically moved into backups and cold storage via cron automation and rsync.
    • Nothing important ever lives “only” in Nextcloud.
    • Sync is not a backup solution, nor should it be. :slight_smile:
    • Everything available to the user relates to particular core fields of interest
      • It isn’t possible to relate different apps together in an ad-hoc manner, so I turn to a combination of Qownnotes API + Notes app, Joplin
      • Cryptomator is the only trust worthy e2e tool I’ve ever used across all mobile and desktop devices.
  • Auto-uploads are managed via syncthing, as user www-data and localstorage, due to the nature of how large and numerous my files can be. This helps minimize two factors:
    • Less things to upload on the clients, plus it is faster
    • No dependence on a central server, including my own. Device to device is fine and skips webdav sync altogether.
  • It is easy to be disorganized since Nextcloud does not understand my organization methods in any straightforward way via tags or between FIles and other apps.
    • I’ve found it best to manage directly into cold storage
    • Only those things I’m actively sharing, referencing, and waiting for as uploads (via webui) reside in Nextcloud at any time.

Groupware - Deck, Calendar, Tasks

Deck is a great tool for organization purposes, but it is still impossible to export or import as you might in Google Takeout. This makes me unable to trust the app entirely and I never leave valuable information in it alone.

Repetition is extremely tedious with Nextcloud, because it doesn’t understand that everything I’m doing is related to a particular tag or a particular date or anything recurring… this makes it very, very easy to make errors. Or, it makes the process of inputting data quite slow.

For this reason, I’ve found critical collaboration with money on the line must go through Google Drive. Trust me, I’ve been trying to years to not do this, but from Gmail you have the option to not only save files / folders to the correct place, but also move and organize them without leaving Gmail.

  • This is vastly superior to moving between tabs in a browser.
    • For all it’s evil, Google understands the events and tasks I’m inputting are related or recurring, which cuts down my time at the computer by rough 95%. It also reduces my risk of errors by 100% because it goes so far as assuming the dates / times / references I’m using.
    • Unfortunately, I must use such a system if being late or lacking the necessary information will cost me money.

I cannot trust myself to set a recurring schedule for myself (let alone others) with basic information like:

  • Event recurring every two weeks from x to y time.
    • Bob and Susan are co-host.
    • Everyone must arrive 60 minutes before.
    • I must be reminded two days before to prepare.
    • Attached are the directions.
    • Description includes who to contact in the event anything goes wrong.
    • Attached are tasks which must be completed to prepare.
    • If I fail to include any of the above, I risk losing my job.

In theory this could be simple to do, but I cannot trust myself to manually input the 9 things above for each and every calendar entry in Nextcloud. It would be career suicide.

Tasks is much easier to manage, imo, but it lacks the flexibility of Deck. And, again, I’m unable to auto-associate anything as mentioned above.

To get around this, I like to use Nextcloud for long-term planning, such as unconfirmed events that are in a planning stage. But, once the event is happening, I must move to Google Drive. Only the most sensitive details, such as a contract, would be shared from Nextcloud with an expiration link. Or as a way for guests to upload folders and documents.


Talk is of no use to me personally, because my primary discussion interest for personal chat would be through a fully e2e, federated, bridged tool such as Matrix. Matrix already includes every major project there is (besides Nextcloud) and I’ve been on it for many years. I see zero advantage to leaving [Matrix] when it makes it possible for me to connect to any other hosted Matrix and IRC server from a self-hosted server. This already covers ever open source project chat I’m interested in, so I see no need to leave that eco-system as a more general way to engage in open source conversations.

Also, I prefer to keep my Nextcloud focused on getting things done, which means as close to no conversation as possible. Since comments have not seen further development, I find it better to post share links into Matrix if input is needed. Or, I would consider since it is a totally fantastic drop-in replacement to Slack, which works beautifully and includes all major features I desire (Matrix integration, webdav integration, Slack replica interface, bot support, rss support and comprehensive guest/anonymous access).


As you can find on the forum, we’ve spent years trying to get out of Evernote. I have many years of fantastic content, which were drag and dropped into Evernote and very nicely organized with tags, reminders, photos and audio notes. The only way to keep this information intact was by migrating it into Joplin, as it will render properly. For the foreseeable future, that is where it will stay. I do not find Joplin to be as easy to use as Evernote was, but it includes a level of functionality that cannot be beat, especially since everything is presented exactly as it is in Evernote.

Markdown notes work well enough for programmer like text tasks, but for multimedia I still have not found a replacement for Evernote or more “drag and drop” visual approaches to work flows where lots of random media, pictures, attachments are concerned.

Thanks for reading!

Thanks if you read this far. I realize there is much more to discuss, but thought I’d mention it as I encounter these obstacles yet again, even as an obvious enthusiast, while attempting to organize my projects. :heart:


Thank for valuable insight @just very appreciated.

I definitely agree about joplin is the most competitive Evernote/Onenote alternative. I tried Nextcloud integrated app without success switched to Joplin (later with Joplin server) with 1+k notes from OneNote collected over years and this works good.


I prefer to disagree. I’m looking to move as much as possible into Nextcloud having only one place where important things and docs live. fully agree “sync is not a backup” - for this reason I have very smart (in my eyes :wink: ) backup strategy, backing up Nextcloud config, DB and files with restic into server local repo, which in turn syncs to another system and later to multiple offline HDD. I tested recovery from both online repo and offline repo archive using linux and windows which makes me think it should survive most of disaster I think about.


If you want the drag and drop experience, best tool I’ve used is Zim WIki. No mobile apps sadly. To clarify, Joplin is more of an Evernote viewer, as opposed to the same experience of creating the notes.

That is cool, but that process has not worked out for me. As backups and files pile up I find the underlying filesystem far more important than nc… an array like Truenas to manage multi-disk storage and backups with a friendly GUI. This is simple to access over samba/nfs using rclone to Webdav or other file servers. Tooling is routed through wireguard or Tailscale and everything will just work once the tunnel is connected. Realizing Nextcloud would simply add another layer to all of this, I chose to strip it away. Serious sync work through Syncthing or rsync. NC is kept for very light sharing and testing.

Sounds like we have similar methods in general.

What is your experience with Keycloak in regards to user management of NC users? Or are you not using Cryptomator hub?

Haven’t tried it myself, but nice to see it is available to selfhost. I’ve been impressed by recent integration into KeepassXC

To be honest, I’ve felt overwhelmed in wrapping my head around Authelia vs Keycloak in managing two factor authentication and SSO / LDAP behind reverse proxies. Any guidance or suggestions appreciated. :slight_smile:

Well SSO, federation, MFA and access management is one thing and can be achieved in so many ways and with so many different tools.
I am an IGA SME and Security Engineer, so Identity management - the full scope - is what I do daily, on all levels. I am a Nextcloud user privately and for a non profit organization on volunteer basis. Combining this I am looking for a good tool to the one missing step which NC does not have: Request and approval of access. If only it was group based, it would be great. However for that I needs other system, and this has to be free, as in free of use.
If SSO, mfa and federation is what you are looking for, Gluu is a better option, and much easier to get started with. If you have enough juice available, then the full suite recommended, is wso2. Got you covered in all aspects.

since you say you’ve gone back to Google, a way to give more actionable input to people would be ie. what does google do to make your experience so much better, how can we copy google to earn you back as a user? :=)

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Hello, the issues mentioned are all actively reported on their related github repos, but I haven’t had time to dig through all of them into an itemized list. Totally makes sense that would be helpful. Any assistance from anyone reading this greatly appreciated!

Has anyone at Nextcloud ever done a head to head comparison of nextcloud to drive and dropbox?

I’ll take some screenshots and such as I can for context in step by step.